Thursday, November 26, 2020

Changes ahead for PSUC campus

As Plattsburgh State students and faculty return to campus for the start of a new spring semester, campus renovations continue with three main projects at the top of PSUC’s priority list underway.

The Yokum communications department area, which is PSUC’s top academic renovation focus, is undergoing a complete overhaul that includes updates to the building as well as equipment. Wall boards and vinyl tiles will be replaced, asbestos abated and the entire department will switch over from analog to digital, PSUC Facilities Director Kevin Roberts said.

The renovation is expected to be completed by March, and will be followed by a period of equipment installation and training, PSUC Vice President for Administration John Homburger said.

Due to the training and installation, the department is scheduled to reopen for classes in the fall. In the meantime, much of the communications department has been temporarily relocated to Hawkins Hall basement.

Although the Yokum renovation has been a main focus, a handful of delays have caused the date of completion to be delayed.

“There was more asbestos than we had originally anticipated,” Homburger said. He also added that design flaws hindered the renovation process.

The renovation of Mason Hall, the college’s top priority in regards to residential renovations, will entail a full rehab of the building’s interior. Closets will be replaced, new finish added to the doors, the bathrooms updated and an elevator added. In addition, a post office will be added in the basement to accommodate students on campus, Roberts said.

The construction underway in Champlain Valley Hall, the smallest of the three projects, entails the renovation of a handful of classrooms.

Although projects are still on-going, other larger projects are already scheduled to begin at the
end of the spring semester and into the summer.

The Hawkins Pond renovation, which will include new features such as a waterfall component at the end closest to Ward Hall, a floating fountain and wetland area that will be used to for academic purposes, will begin shortly after graduation.

Indigenous stone will be used around the pond and the bottom will be replaced to prevent seepage.

New landscaping will also be done around the pond. While drawing up the plans for remodeling the pond and the surrounding area, it was the college’s goal to “emulate the Adirondacks to Lake Champlain,” Homburger said.

The two-year-long renovation of the upper-level pathway connecting Feinberg Library, Hudson Hall, Beaumont Hall, Kehoe Administration Building and the Angell College Center, known as “the podium” to Roberts and his colleagues, will begin this summer.

To prevent vehicles from having to drive on the podium to plow the snow and salt the ground, water pipes will be installed under the concrete to melt the snow and ice.

Constant salting during the winter months has also done considerable damage to the walkways.

“The salt is really deteriorating the concrete,” Roberts said.

In regards to dining facilities and services on campus, some changes are a possibility in the near future. PSUC is currently in its last year of five year contract, which included a two year option, with Chartwells.

When the contract expires, the college has the option to survey and assess the dining services provided by Chartwells.

Depending on the results, the college can decide to stay with Chartwells, or start exploring other options. Additionally, Clinton Dining Hall will be redone on the interior.

“Clinton is ready for a new facelift,” Homburger said.

Email Thomas Marble at thomas.marble@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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